Though I adore all types of art supplies, I approached this prompt in an “if I were stranded on a desert island” kind of way (it’s equally not lost on me that one more ‘s’ would make it dessert island which would be amazing!!). At the very least, if stranded somewhere, I would need my two fountain pens – one filled with sepia ink and the other filled with black ink (and I guess a case of ink, not pictured here), my sketchbook and, of course, watercolor paint (used to paint this!). I have a mechanical pencil that I use sometimes as well, but for some weird reason I just “see” better with a pen in my hand. If I do a quick pencil sketch first, I’ll always end up correcting perspective and adding more accurate lines when I’m holding my pen. I remember the first time I sketched without a pencil and went straight to ink. It was so exhilarating! Which is probably why I called the post, Look Mom! No Pencil! though I’m not particularly certain why I called my mother out as she lacks a computer and doesn’t even read my blog. But had she been reading along, I’m certain she would have been just as thrilled as I was at the time.
It’s true that I really love my fountain pens. I’m not a traditional painter, more of an illustrator who still just loves to doodle and play with color. Drawing has always been something that’s been interesting to me, and I truly thought I would never be able to paint anything. In college, my painting classes were all taught using acrylic paint and I found it messy and I could never quite make what I wanted. It would be years and years before I would realize that I just think better going from light to dark, rather than the other way around. But my drawing classes were always my favorite. I loved the idea that with a few or several lines, you could make something come to life on the page. The only thing that I missed in those classes was my love of color, so discovering watercolor just a couple years ago now, was a revelation. Combining these two passions was the origin of the name “doodlewash” and was an attempt to describe what I was doing. Granted, I love all types of watercolor painting, so this site has since grown to be about much more. Doodlewash has become more about the idea of embracing the medium and using it in whatever way that you prefer.
Lately, I’ve been far more drawn to sepia ink, but I used both in this little doodlewash. Each Lamy fountain pen shown here is sketched in the color it contains. The Cobalt Blue one is a present from Philippe because it was a special edition that looked like the Doodlewash icon. An unassuming little icon that simply says “DO,” the primary message that I hope to send out into the world. There are so many different ways to use watercolor and I hope that each and every one discover your way. Learn from everyone you possibly can and, in the end, you’ll find the method that just clicks for you. For those wondering about my approach, it’s an unexpected amalgamation formed from awesome urban sketching instructors and those who create food and botanical illustrations. All still done in a very quick fashion. One day, I may try to make a painting that lasts more than hour, but in the meantime, I’m quite content having my special little moment each day, enjoying my time with my favorite art supplies.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Da Vinci Orange, Burnt Sienna Deep, Quinacridone Gold, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pens with sepia ink and black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!